Support FAQ/Power Generation, Power Management, Battery Issues

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Power Generation, Power Management, Battery Issues

Does my laptop come with a hand crank? Solar panels? Can the XO be used Off Grid?

The Get One XO does not ship with any human powered device or solar panel, which are designed to support the XO laptops shipped to developing countries.

Even without these accessories the XO is a Green Machine suitable for Off Grid and fluctuating power areas.

Future peripheral availability is discussed on the Product News page.

What kinds of power sources can I use with the XO laptop?

See also Does my laptop come with a hand crank? Solar panels? Can the XO be used Off Grid?

In addition to plugging the laptop into an electrical outlet (110-240 volts AC), the XO laptop can take a DC input ranging from 11 volts to 18 volts, a range that’s far more flexible than most portable devices. The XO laptop is remarkably energy efficient, generally using only 5-10 percent of the average wattage of a standard laptop.

See our overall discussion of Battery and power requirements. For more formal specs, see XO-1 Hardware specifications.

How long does the battery last?

Battery life is approximately 3 to 6 hours, depending on which Activities are used. Battery life may be increased to 10 hours or longer with future software release.

How do I power off the XO laptop?

From the Home View, move the pointer over the XO symbol at the center of your screen, and click "Shutdown."

Or press the power button twice if you have recent software, whereupon you will see a "stop sign" on the screen as a proper shutdown begins.

Holding the power button for 10 seconds is not recommended (until the green power light goes off) but is a measure of last resort.

How do I put an XO laptop to sleep?

Releases since 8.2.0 in 2008/2009 should support suspend/resume sleep features for improved battery life.

The sleep feature was not enabled in early software provided on XOs shipped starting December 2007 during the first Give1Get1 program.

My XO laptop won't power on

Make sure you are powering up correctly:

Carefully read the power/battery issues at: and Troubleshooting Guide

Ensure the battery is properly inserted and the power adapter is plugged into the XO laptop and the electrical outlet.

If both the battery and power lights are on (just below your screen, to the right),

and the laptop won't start when the power button is pushed, this may indicate a minor problem with the embedded controller (EC). Remove all power sources (by taking the battery out and removing the power adapter), then wait 10 seconds to allow it to reset; and finally reconnect and power up your XO laptop. Confirm your laptop turns on and boots. If your XO laptop does not turn on or boot, it may be damaged.

If your XO laptop was damaged on receipt, contact within 30 days, to exchange it.

My XO won't power off: "Unexpected Signal 15"

When shutting down or restarting, if you see the "unexpected signal 15" error and your unit does not go to the pictogram warnings as expected, press the ctrl, alt and F4 keys at the same time. This will display a pictogram warning, and your unit will now shutdown or restart properly.

This is a known issue in release 8.2.0, see <trac>7531</trac> and <trac>7812</trac>.

Is my battery OK? Why does it say "discharging" when plugged in?

The majority of initial battery issues were not in fact hardware problems, but rather software problems. This is because December 2007's Build 650 had a couple bugs which commonly lead to false reporting in the Home view, as to the actual amount of battery life.

These software bugs (#4208, #4401) were largely fixed in late 2008, for the 8.2.x software releases.

If however your battery does not retain any charge at all, and you are within the 30-day Give1Get1 warranty, consider applying for an return/exchange.

Many non-BYD batteries can also be repaired, using the following Battery Troubleshooting Process.

But if it's a BYD battery (yellow label) and it won't charge then it's almost certainly the "charge balance" issue -- in which case, diagnostic and recovery info can be found here: XO LiFePO4 Recovery Procedure. (olpc-pwr-log is the successor to olpc-logbat for generating battery-diagnostic logs, and should be included in the 8.2.x release. Users of older builds should download and run olpc-pwr-log rather than olpc-logbat. Although much of the info is the same.)

Finally, note that new batteries are for sale for about $25, from spare parts vendors and some of the many community repair repairs.